FACTS: What would you tell buyers/sellers about today’s market?

What do YOU know? No, really, tell me. Comment and let me know what 5 things YOU would tell prospective buyers and sellers about today’s real estate market.

I can tell you what the research says, but research doesn’t do business…

So give it to me straight, what 5 things should buyers/sellers know?

About Andrew Kantor

Andrew is VAR's editor and information manager, and -- lessee now -- a former reporter for the Roanoke Times, former technology columnist for USA Today, and a former magazine editor for a bunch of places. He hails from New York with stops in Connecticut, New Jersey, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Roanoke.
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20 Responses to FACTS: What would you tell buyers/sellers about today’s market?

  1. Cindy Stackhouse says:

    1. It is a great time to buy (good for buyers & sellers) 2. For buyers: lots of choices 3. Sellers: fix up your house and you will be above your competition. 4. Lenders ARE lending money…to qualified buyers (good for buyers and sellers) 5.a Realtor is your best friend/advisor/resource in a challenging market. These are FACTS.

  2. The time is great for investing in real estate as the market is having low rates on interest. It is an easy access time for Realtors.

  3. Sarah Stelmok says:

    1. Sellers – if you are walking away from the closing table with a penny as profit, you are NOT giving your house away. You made a penny! Congratulations. 2. Buyers – there are alot of choices, narrow them down so you don’t get overwhelmed. 3. Buyers – Shop around for a mortgage! All lenders are not created equal! 4. Sellers – switching listing agents may not be the magic answer to selling your home. Evaluate the job the LA is doing, not your emotions. 5. I did not create this market, please do not blame me for the state of the economy. Thank you!

  4. I’m the land man so my comments are with that market.
    1) Give strong statistics. The last quarter of 2008 was strong.
    2) For the purchaser. It is a great time to purchase. There are many choices. Take your time, do your homework and don’t be afraid to write an offer that is under the list price.
    3) Get educated on the market. If you think your property is overpriced, most likely it is.
    4) Think of owner financing. It will allow you to sell and you may receive a better return than placing the money in the bank.
    5) Find a REALTOR that knows the land market.

  5. No Thank You Sarah. LOL.

  6. Scott Allan says:

    Buyers: Prices are low. COULD get lower, but interest rates are historically low, you get an income tax credit to buy so you have some possible slack to deal with. There are great options in the same area. Lets look at them and pick the one you absolutely love.

    Sellers: Everything is selling right now if you are priced right. Be prepared to deal with 3 options. First, sell the house at the right price whether you profit or lose. Second, if you sell at a loss, speak to a Short Sale Professional BEFORE you talk to the bank. Third, stay in the house a few more years.

  7. Bill, thanks for the land perspective. I don’t think we consider that enough when talking markets.

    Scott, Thanks. Is there a directory/group of short sales experts out there?

  8. Scott Allan says:

    I doubt there is a directory for experts. It is more trial and error unfortunately. Not even an attorney can do a better job than someone who is just plain consistent. The key to a shortsale are the following:

    1-Unfortunately to negotiate must be at least 90 days delinquent on the mortgage. Can be negotiated after 30 with a hard sell to lender.

    Your first call to the bank should be to get their “workout” or “shortsale” package.

    Fill it out and arrange ALL of your asset statements. Write a hardship letter on why you need to negotiate.

    Have a realtor do a CMA and send all of this into the bank. Don’t piece mail. At that point the negotiations start and time will be on their end as you have given them everything for the procedure.

    The one we are doing at the moment is in Montclair, NJ

  9. Real estate is local. The follwowing is for Franklin Township, NJ:

    1. Sellers: According Garden State MLS, 602 local residential transactions took place in 2008.

    2. Sellers: For 2008, the average days on market (DOM) was 84 at 96% of asking price for those that sold.

    3. Sellers: If you are not doing all the right things to sell your home then you are helping to sell your competions’. Homes are selling in Franklin Township.

    4. Buyers: If your credit scores are at least 720, you have an adequate downpayment and can document all that is required; it can be a great time to buy.

    5. Buyers: Your house is not a bank. Work the numbers. The longer you plan to live in your home with a fixed rate mortgage, the benefits of home ownership will be greater. Congress is proposing a true $7,500 tax credit for first time buyers.

  10. Buyers: Take Advantage. Now.
    1) Lots of inventory to choose from.
    2) Many sellers willing to negotiate.
    3) Mortgage money available and rates are great; FHA is your friend.
    4) Waiting for “the bottom”? You won’t know you’ve hit it until you missed it and you’re on the way back up.
    5) Prices haven’t been this good in years.

    Sellers: Be Realistic
    1) This is not the market of a few years ago. Price it right the first time.
    2) Stage, stage, stage.
    3) Offer closing cost assistance/rate buy downs.
    4) Take the haircut now on your price and you’ll reap the advantages when the seller of the move-up home you buy must do the same.
    5) Be willing to negotiate. Do not scare people away that have any real interest in your home by being unwilling to negotiate.

    Agents: This isn’t 2005. Don’t Wait for Your Phone to Ring – It Probably Won’t.
    1) Go to where the buyers are: hold opens and follow up relentlessly. Market to apartment complexes and hold first time home buyer seminars in “neutral” venues (not your office).
    2) Only take listings that are reasonably priced and are owned by sellers who will drop the price after 30 days of no action
    3) Keep farming. Listing agents control the market.
    4) The quickest way to drum up business is pop bys to your sphere of influence.
    5) Don’t get caught up in the mainstream media negativity. There are people buying and selling houses every day. Why aren’t you the one representing them?

  11. Pingback: FACTS: What would you tell buyers and sellers about today’s market? « The Bengel Blog

  12. don says:

    About today’s market.
    there is good and bad.
    If you have enough cash flow. its good to invest as price dropped in property. as when it raises in future. u can make good profit

  13. Pam Rogers says:

    Buyers: There are two questions you need to ask yourself before deciding if it’s the right time for you to buy. Do you have job security and do you have good credit? If the answer to both of those questions is yes, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??? Let’s see…..should I invest in the stock market..??? Or, buy a home, that gives me a fabulous write off for lowering my income taxes and….if I hold on to it for a few years…hmmmm…I could create a nice chunk of cash!! THAT’S A REALLY TOUGH DECISION!!

  14. Great time to buy, lots of great values around, interest rates are very low, $7500 first time home buyer credit, home value decline seem to have slowed to almost nothing. On top of all that, the rental market is so tight that rental rates seem to be going higher as well.

  15. Sellers: Buyers are demanding. The market can turn them into blood sucking animals. Don’t take it personally. Leave something negotiable like the pool table or the washer/dryer so buyers feel they’ve cheated you out of something! (However, don’t make the fatal error of padding your price).

    Sellers: Don’t get caught up in the “I’m not giving my house away” mindset. If you’re turning around and buying, you’re still in the game! You’ll just experience appreciation on a different house over the long term.

    Buyers: This is going to be a roller coaster ride. If a house looks like a great value and has a decent floor plan, expect to compete in a multiple offer situation. Don’t run. Stay and fight for your house and when the bank comes back and asks you to put your best foot forward; do so!

    Buyers: If you are buying a bank owned property, there is a good chance you won’t close on time. Plan on giving your landlord notice the afternoon of closing and budget paying rent an extra month. The settlement companies representing the banks are overwhelmed and have been known to close later than expected.

    Buyers: You are playing with FIRE if you don’t hire a home inspector.

    Disclosure: I am a licensed agent in the state of Virginia speaking of advice I offer my buyers/sellers. Consult your own agent! Jovan just asked me to “give it to you straight!” That’s the only way I play!

  16. In today’s housing market, what percentage of a houses’ asking price is expected to be paid by the buyer?We’re looking at a property and the seller has come down 4% from the original asking price of 159,000. Is that reasonable or should they be expected to come down lower?

  17. CJ Brasiel says:

    1.) Buyers/Sellers choose a solid agent that knows the market, the neighborhood, the trends, how to negotiate with banks, buyers, and sellers.
    2.) Buyers, patience – leave out emotion if you want the “deal of the century” and be prepared to walk away. If you want a home and a good deal, be ready to compromise on the little things.
    3.) Sellers, you are competing with foreclosed properties that are AS IS. Take the time and little bit of money to complete repairs. Don’t get Scrooge like and not paint or change the carpet. 4 out of 5 buyers are buying a foreclosed home.
    4.) Sellers, trust your agent on price after they have shown you the data that supports their price recommendations. See the comparables, and remember that many markets are losing 1-2 % per month. Don’t believe the agent? Get an appraisal.

  18. I would ask them why not? If you look historically that after a low interest rate period rates jump up way high. Now really is the time if your looking for conventional financing. Another idea is that creative financing is all over the place. Lease options, owner financing are both great option to get those that don’t qualify into really great positions for getting into a home.

  19. 1. Buyers its your market
    2. Buyers its your market
    3. Buyers its your market
    4. Buyers its your market
    5. Buyers its your market

    I think that’s obvious. I still talk to the seller and I explain to them the benefits of creative financing these days. I really don’t mind doing a lease option because i get a little from the option money but I like to refer the renter to my loan officer who has a great program that helps them qualify in the next 12 – 18 months. I think get the rest of the commission on the sell of the house. So I like to think I am putting another buyer in my pipeline.

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